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Ministry of Economy presents details of new legislation on commercial companies, commercial registry, trademarks and copyright

ABU DHABI, 7th December, 2021 (WAM) — The Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), held an extensive media briefing to introduce three of the new economic laws that underwent largest legislative amendments of their kind in the history of the UAE and approved by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, on 27th November 2021. In total, amendments were made to more than 40 laws with an aim to further enhance the UAE’s economic environment, investment and commercial infrastructures and to support the security and stability of the society, keeping pace with the country’s future growth aspirations.

During the media briefing, the Ministry shed more light on the details, provisions, and amendments related to three new economic legislation that form part of this package, and their expected impact on the national economy, business environment, investment, innovation system and intellectual property during the next phase. These are:

1. Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies
2. Federal Decree-Law No. 37 of 2021 on Commercial Registry
3. Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2021 on Trademarks

The media briefing was led by Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, with the participation of Maryam Al Suwaidi, CEO of the SCA; Ahmed Al Hosani, Director of the Commercial Registration and Certificates of Origin Department at the Ministry of Economy; and Fatima Al Hosani, Director of the Trademarks and Intellectual Works Department at the Ministry of Economy.

Al Saleh said, "The new laws that were launched in conjunction with the UAE’s golden jubilee represent an important milestone in the development of the legislative system to drive national economic growth in accordance with the vision of the wise leadership and in line with the Principles of the 50. They also support the achievement of the outputs of the Fifty-Year Charter announced by the government of the UAE. These laws have been developed and updated in cooperation between the Ministry of Economy and its partners from government entities and in consultation and coordination with the private sector, in a manner that accelerates the transformation towards a new model of the national economy based on flexibility and sustainability. It puts in place proactive legislative frameworks that drive long-term economic growth in the country over the next fifty years of the UAE."

He pointed out that the new legislation represents key drivers for enhancing the flexibility of the economic climate, stimulating innovation, developing the intellectual property system, and increasing the country's attractiveness to companies, investors, entrepreneurs, talents and innovators from around the world in vital and strategic sectors.

Meanwhile, Maryam Al Suwaidi noted that the new set of legislative amendments issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, on the occasion of the country’s golden jubilee keeps pace with the UAE’s developmental aspirations and is an unprecedented step forward in building the most competitive economy in the world. It would enhance the UAE’s economic environment and the investment structure in terms of the country’s attractiveness to foreign investments and their competitiveness among the most dynamic investment destinations in the world.

Furthermore, she noted that it contributes to the development of the legislative structure and the provision of a legislative environment that is most conducive to investment, which is one of the most important factors that differentiate countries in terms of their attractiveness to investments. This is especially so since the foreign investor always focuses on the quality and development of local legislation and the availability of a transparent and fair environment under the scope of the law, she noted.

She added: "Legislative modernization and the constant development of the legislative structure are necessary to keep pace with global best practices. It is also a reflection of the achievements made by the UAE over the past fifty years in line with the vision of its wise leadership and the aspirations of its people, and further encourages the country’s comprehensive, sustainable development. It provides necessary support for various economic sectors and enhances the UAE’s overall competitiveness and position on the map of the future and various global indicators of competitiveness, especially in the field of economy and investment."

Commercial Companies Law

The law enhances the openness of the UAE’s business climate in a way that supports the competitiveness of the national economy and the dynamism of the business environment. It ensures a dynamic and advanced investment environment that enables investors to implement vital projects for the economy, increase the attraction of foreign companies and attract foreign investments to the country’s vital economic sectors

The law serves many categories both inside and outside of the country, including: commercial companies established in the country, branches of companies and representative offices of companies established outside the UAE; global companies; investors and businessmen from within the country; foreign investors from different countries of the world; entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs); family companies; and all members of the community.

It contributes to invigorating market activity, developing opportunities, increasing the number and size of national and foreign companies and projects operating in the country, raising their competitiveness and increasing their ability to access regional and global markets.

It contributes to increasing the number of companies listed in the country’s financial markets, attracting international companies to these markets, and encouraging companies to public offering and listing in the capital markets, thus raising the growth indicators of these markets to advanced and globally competitive ranks.

The new amendments include a comprehensive review, during which, 51 articles were replaced, 3 new articles were added, and one article was deleted, with a total of 55 updates. The updates include a number of new provisions that support the shift towards the new economic model in the country in accordance with the principles of economic openness, flexibility and proactiveness, and in line with the goals of the fifty.

The law amendments include development of financing solutions for companies and restructuring operations and finding solutions to the challenges facing business activities in the country.

Most prominent provisions and amendments to the law:

– Allow the establishment of companies for the purposes of acquisition or merger, and SPVs, and establish a legal framework for these new legal forms and excludes them from some provisions of the Companies Law through a decision issued by the SCA to regulate the work of these forms of companies; ensure their effectiveness and economic feasibility; and enhance growth and positive impact on the business environment.

– Abolish the maximum and minimum percentage of the founders’ contribution to the company’s capital at the time of the public offering, and cancel the legal limitation of the subscription period, and leaving the two matters to what is specified in the prospectus.

– Eliminate the requirement for the nationality of the members of the board of directors and uphold the organization shareholders’ decisions in the election of board members, in accordance with the terms and conditions set by the competent authority.

– Allow companies to transform into a public joint stock company and sell its shares or offer new shares in a public subscription without being restricted to a certain percentage, by following the price-building mechanism of the security.

– Allow companies to divide and create legal rules governing division operations, thus contributing to diversifying the company’s activities and fields of work and increasing its projects and growth opportunities.

– Allow companies to determine the face value, and to determine the percentage of the offering.

– Find financing solutions for companies through the issuance of other types of shares.

– Allow branches of foreign companies licensed in the country to transform into a commercial company with UAE citizenship.

Commercial Register Law

The law aims to make the Economic Register a comprehensive reference for economic activities in the country that helps investors and companies develop their businesses based on documented, integrated and accurate information. The registry will serve as a leading platform that accelerates the growth of economic sectors and enhances the position of the UAE as a destination for future investments and innovative ideas in new economic sectors.

The law:

– Supports the knowledge economy enablers and promotes directing investment towards the knowledge and scientific sectors, advanced technological industries and areas of the new economy, by providing supporting data through the economic registry.

– Supports the UAE strategy 2021-2025 for digital transformation in terms of providing a world-class digital infrastructure and a unified digital platform that provides integrated, easy and fast digital services for all sectors and economic activities in the country, and in a manner that supports the integration of economic data for business sector services in the UAE.

– It also supports the UAE strategy 2021-2025 by ensuring the availability of participatory data, through real-time linking with the licensing authorities and the competent authorities, in a way that supports national ambitions, investment-attraction programs and the country's influential position on the global investment landscape.

– Supports the country's efforts to enhance services based on artificial intelligence and support the national strategy in this regard to enable transition to a new phase after the smart government, during which, future services, infrastructure and digital sector will align with the goals of the UAE Centennial 2071.

The law serves all members of the society and the concerned authorities in the government and the private sector inside and outside the country. It specifically targets anyone who carries out an economic activity in the country, including companies to which the provisions of the Commercial Companies Law apply; Civil corporations that take a form of commercial corporations; Companies established or contributed by the federal government or local governments and carrying out commercial activity in the country; Companies and institutions that carry out a professional activity; Companies established by law or pursuant to a law or decree to carry on a commercial activity; Branches, offices and agencies of foreign companies; Companies and establishments that carry out their activities in the free zones in the country; Sole Proprietorship Enterprises.

Most prominent provisions and amendments to the law:
– It establishes the economic register as the official reference for data and information for establishments with economic activity in the country.

– Enables use of the unified economic register number as a digital identity for establishments.

– Through the Economic Register, a unified database is provided to all registrants in the Commercial Register, trademark owners, commercial agency activities, etc., and information related to merchants and economic activities licensed in the country, and any updates or modifications to this data, ensuring its validity, accuracy and updating periodically.

– Provides a comprehensive and reliable digital knowledge base that can be accessed via advanced digital platforms available at any time and from anywhere to serve businessmen, investors, policy makers, economic researchers, academics, students and all stakeholders.

– Facilitates the provision of official data to economic consultancy, research, classification and evaluation institutions, and relevant international organizations, and supports analysis and research related to economic activities, market trends, and current and promising future opportunities in the country.

– Enables data sharing, integrating economic information from the concerned authorities in the country, and provides advanced services based on partnership in order to facilitate customer journey. Eliminates the need to submit the same data more than once to more than one party in the country.

– Allows all transactions to be conducted through the unified economic registry number, without the need to re-use documents and data across different government entities.

Trademark law

It provides integrated protection for trademarks and new mechanisms that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of government work, which accelerate the pace of adoption of emerging concepts and innovative methods, leading to a more competitive trademark and intellectual property system.

It contributes to increasing the momentum and competitiveness in the country’s markets and enhancing the reputation of the national economy as an attractive destination for major regional and global companies and brands. It is vital to increasing investor confidence on the UAE's developed legislative environment and reassures them that their rights will be preserved in accordance with advanced legal systems compatible with ground realities.

It enhances confidence in the UAE’s markets and the business sector, and contributes to combating fraud and counterfeiting, preserving the rights of institutions, companies, and individuals, encouraging the owners of inventions and providing the appropriate climate for transforming creative ideas into applications and innovative solutions that contribute to economic growth and upgrading the country’s competitiveness.

It enhances the presence of UAE brands globally, increases the attractiveness of the local product in major markets, contributes to improving the quality of local products by engaging in global competition, and supports the contribution of these brands to the national economy.

It increases the country's attractiveness for foreign direct investment, as well as for expertise, competencies and talents, and stimulates the transfer of knowledge and the best advanced technology methods by attracting international companies and international brand investments to the country's markets.

Expands the scope of legal protection for companies' trademarks, products, innovations and trade name in the country's markets through the protection of new and non-traditional patterns of trademarks, in line with modern technical developments in building a brand for business facilities, and consolidating the country's position as a modern, advanced and reliable destination for successful businesses and companies.

The law serves a wide range of segments of society and the business environment, including entrepreneurs, commercial projects and company owners within the country; foreign companies’ investors; investors in entertainment and cultural fields; registered agents, attorneys and legal service providers; anyone interested in protecting, registering or preventing infringement of a trademark; or all members of the society.

Most prominent provisions and amendments to the law:
– Accelerates the issuance of licenses and the completion of government approvals and procedures, which contributes to enhancing integration in the work of service providers and increasing their supportive contribution to SMEs.

– Determines the procedures for registering a mark locally and internationally, providing it with protection and preventing and addressing infringement with deterrent penalties.

– Provides a comprehensive database of trademarks to be open and free of cost to the public, which was formerly a paid service.

– Introduces option to renew the mark within 6 months after the expiry of the period and gives extension of another 6 months, if provided justifications are accepted by the Ministry of Economy.

– Provides legal protection for non-traditional trademarks after developing materials dedicated to these aspects, including smell, sound, hologram, tones and others, which are the latest types of non-traditional trademarks.

– Raises the ceiling of penalties for violators of the Trademarks Law and its executive regulations.

– Introduces new penalties that protect non-traditional trademarks.

– Provides protection for "geographical indications", which encourages research in local geographical indications and presents them to the world, such as "types of date crops" or trees and water and contributes to strengthening the status of the country and its local products globally.

– Allows the submission of multi-category applications, which will encourage companies to protect their trademarks.

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UAE participates in Czech Republic Defence Industry Exhibition

PRAGUE, 29th May, 2023 (WAM) — A group of UAE defence sector companies participated in the International Defence and Security Technologies Fair, which was being held in the Czech Republic, on the sidelines of the visit of a high-level delegation headed by Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, to the country, with the aim of expanding bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various areas of common interest.

The participation of the UAE delegation at the international exhibition comes within the framework of the country's efforts to enhance cooperation and exchange experiences and best practices in the field of defence, focusing on the advanced technology and modern innovations employed by UAE and Czech Republic companies, as the two sides look to strengthen cooperation in this sector for the benefit of both countries.

The delegation toured the various pavilions and halls of the exhibition, which includes a number of international institutions and companies. The delegation was briefed on the latest military technologies, security systems and defence industries hosted by the exhibition.

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Under the directives of Mansour bin Zayed, ADAFSA launches ‘Fodder Market’ first and largest of its kind in Middle East

ABU DHABI, 29th May, 2023 (WAM) — Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), ADAFSA launches Fodder Market, the first and largest of its kind in the Middle East.
The market aims to provide UAE livestock breeders with easy access to high-quality animal feed at competitive prices while ensuring safe and sustainable solutions for local fodder companies to access markets.
The Fodder Market has the capacity to serve around 40,000 breeders across the UAE and cater to more than 5 million livestock.

The feed trade in the UAE is valued at more than AED2.5 billion annually, with a volume of about 3 million tons. The launch of the Fodder Market is expected to boost trade and promote fair competition among suppliers, thereby contributing to the growth of the feed market.
Located near livestock farms (Ezbah), the Fodder Market is linked to a group of existing regular markets, in addition to an online platform for trading feed available to all companies in the UAE.

There are already 12 markets in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, including 85 outlets allocated to 30 companies for the sale and marketing of animal feed.

More of these markets will be established with the inclusion of more companies specialising in the sale and marketing of feed.
The 12 fodder outlets in the emirate are Al Faya in Abu Dhabi City; Al Sila, Al Mirfa, Ghayathi, Khanoor/Hossan, and Tharwaniyyah in Al Dhafra Region; and Wahat Al Sahra, Al Ouya, Bu Kuraya, Al Dhahira, Nahel, and Al Anjah in Al Ain.
His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed the UAE's keenness, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to mobilise resources, capabilities and energies to enable sustainable food production and create an integrated self-sufficiency system that supports the National Food Security Strategy in accordance with the highest food safety standards.
His Highness pointed out that the Fodder Market is an important initiative to regulate the feed trade in the country. It combines physical markets with an online platform, allowing buyers to see their purchases in real time.
His Highness said: “The promotion of the livestock sector is crucial to increasing self-sufficiency in animal products. It is imperative to create an enabling environment for sustainable production, and the implementation of the Fodder Market will play a significant role in enhancing livestock productivity by ensuring proper nutrition, promoting sustainable practices, and empowering livestock breeders as a vital and effective component of the national food security system. The Fodder Market also aims to improve the efficiency of feed utilisation, increase productivity and economic viability, and ensure the continued growth and sustainability of the livestock industry”.
Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA, stressed that the Fodder Market aims to connect feed buyers from all emirates with suppliers approved by ADAFSA. This will allow for transparent and easy sales and purchases, ensuring that livestock breeders obtain their needs of feed with the highest quality and the best prices, ultimately achieving the sustainability and development of livestock.
He said: "Livestock owners across all emirates will be able to obtain high-quality products from trusted suppliers via the Fodder Market, which is linked to regular markets in addition to an online platform. This outlet is the first of its kind in the Middle East and the largest in terms of the volume and value of trades that will take place annually."
In addition to the benefits of diversity and a wide variety of grass and compound feed available through registered companies, whether through the regular market or the online platform, the outlet will also save time and effort for breeders by protecting them from dealing with street vendors or purchasing fodder of unknown origin.
He stated that one of the key pillars for achieving the goals of the National Food Security Strategy and ensuring the abundance and safety of food for all members of society is the development of the livestock sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, in line with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The launch of the Fodder Market would also raise the calibre of fodder that is sold and traded on the markets and spur supplier competition to satisfy market demands for fodder and animal food in accordance with international standards, thus helping to safeguard, advance livestock and boost animal productivity, and increase the economic return of breeders.
He drew attention to the steady support of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan to ADAFSA, as His Highness’ directives consistently emphasise the importance of sustaining the agricultural sector, both plant and animal, building the capacities of farmers and breeders, and empowering the private sector. This is to ensure the development of agricultural production and livestock and raise its production efficiency to meet the market's needs of fresh meat, dairy, and other animal products of international quality.

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Announced Hydrogen projects represent USD 320 billion Investments through 2030 revealed 2nd Energy Storage Forum

DUBAI, 29th May, 2023 (WAM) — The 2nd Energy Storage Forum revealed that hydrogen momentum continues to accelerate with more than 1,000 projects announced globally.

The announced projects represent USD 320 billion investments through 2030. While renewable generation is projected to reach 80 per cent of the global energy mix by 2050, this will require annual investments in energy supply and production of circa $1.5 trillion by 2035.
Held under the theme ‘Driving Energy Transition Pathways Towards COP28’ and jointly organised by the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) and the independent non-profit energy research and development organisation EPRI, the forum urged financial institutions worldwide to invest in energy storage technologies that support green and renewable energy sources, with a particular emphasis on hydrogen storage.
The forum that commenced with a welcome note by Ahmed Al-Ebrahim, CEO of the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) and an opening speech by EPRI President and CEO Arshad Mansoor.
Al-Ebrahim highlighted that the successful integration of renewable energy into existing power grids requires efficient and reliable energy storage solutions.
“Energy storage technologies play a pivotal role in addressing the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources, enabling a stable and continuous supply of power,” Al-Ebrahim added. “By investing in these technologies, financial institutions can actively contribute to the global effort to combat climate change and foster a sustainable future.”
One of the most promising energy storage solutions is hydrogen storage that has gained significant attention as a clean and versatile fuel, capable of generating power through fuel cells and providing storage for excess renewable energy.
“The Storage Energy Forum firmly believes that financial institutions have a unique opportunity to become leaders in sustainable investment by supporting energy storage technologies. By allocating resources and capital to these projects, they can drive innovation, accelerate the deployment of clean energy solutions, and pave the way for a greener and more resilient future,” said Al-Ebrahim.
The forum also witnessed several panel discussions focusing on the advancement of regulatory frameworks and incentives to support the energy transition.
Experts participating in the forum said that green financing in the Middle East and worldwide has seen exponential growth.

They emphasised on the role of hydrogen in a decarbonised economy.
The forum also highlighted the challenges of scaling up the hydrogen supply chain and sharing international experiences in hydrogen projects development.
Furthermore, keynote sessions focused on the progress and future plans of energy storage installations to support a sustainable power system and the role of smart technologies and the necessity of intelligent risk and insurance solutions.
The specialised forum welcomed collaborations with financial institutions, governments, and other stakeholders to explore opportunities, share knowledge, and develop partnerships that advance the adoption of energy storage technologies.
The three-day forum offered insightful and interactive panel discussions and technical workshops on the fundamentals driving the energy transition and energy storage.

Moreover, it provided a unique opportunity for international participants to network and build partnerships with industry leaders, like-minded peers, and other stakeholders in the energy sector.

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